UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Education, community engagement and oil and gas development : northeast British Columbia Botta, Nepeya Azaria


Resource development projects offer economic opportunities to communities near operations, through the provision of jobs and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. When the local labour pool is not prepared, or lacks appropriate skills or education avenues for upgrades, labour demands will be filled by a fly-in-fly-out workforce. This system both draws resource benefits away from impacted communities, and incurs high transportation and lodging costs to the company. Improving labour-force quality will require upgrading education resources necessary for acquiring the appropriate post-secondary degrees and certificates for employment in the industry. Before planning education programs, it is important to have an acute understanding of the population’s history, socio-economy, regional education resources, and perspective on local education and employment. This research study examined the Northeastern, British Columbia (NEBC) region, where oil and gas (OAG) development is expected to increase exponentially in the near future with the use of hydraulic fracturing. Due to the specialized skills required for this industry, the local communities are currently ill equipped to participate in the labour boom. An education gap analysis was performed to examines the education disparities and obstacles for varying communities in NEBC. The study used a geographic analysis of regional education opportunities to identify community needs, followed by field work where in-depth interviews and focus groups brought to light local thoughts and perceptions on education, employment and community development. This information can be used by OAG companies to invest in socially responsible programs, that benefit regional communities as they develop the resource.

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